Late heroics lifts Trojan boys? to 5-5 season mark

Jesse Allen made the go-ahead basket with 13 seconds left, then recovered a loose ball near the Nickerson basket as time ran out to secure Hills?boro?s 44-43 come-from-behind victory over Nickerson Friday at Brown Gymnasium.

Allen?s heroics at the end of the game capped a night marked more by guts than grace as the Trojans and Panthers kept it close from start to finish in a physical battle.

The Trojans led 11-5 at the first break and 17-16 at halftime.

The game nearly slipped away from Hillsboro at the start of the third quarter. The Trojans turned the ball over its first four possessions, and Nickerson made them pay by scoring seven unanswered points for a 23-17 lead.

But a three-pointer from the top of the key from Jarod Hamm at the 4:27 mark lit a fuse for Hillsboro. The Trojans also got a free throw from Allen and eight points from Christian Ratzlaff (including two three-pointers) to climb into a 31-31 tie after three periods.

After McCaulley Kluesner started the final period with two baskets, a three-pointer from Ben Beber?meyer and a basket by Josh Wiebe in the post, put HHS in front, 36-35, with 5:01 to go.

The Panthers responded with a 7-4 surge?including a pair of free throws after officials whistled Bebermeyer for a technical foul for slapping the backboard on a layup by Tyler Collier.

The two teams traded occasional points before Nickerson took a 43-42 lead on a free throw by Kluesner with 33 seconds to play.

After Allen missed the front end of a one-and-one with less than 20 seconds to go, HHS got the ball back and Brett Wein?brenner launched a three. The ball bounced off the back of the rim, but Allen pulled down the rebound and scored in the paint as he was fouled. He missed the free throw, keeping Hillsboro?s lead at 44-43.

When Kluesner drove the length of the floor with time running out, Wiebe slapped the ball out of his hands and out of bounds just as Kluesner was maneuvering for layup with six seconds to go.

The Panthers got the ball in bounds just inside the baseline, but the ball was jarred loose in the scramble. Allen recovered it sprawled on the floor as the final second slipped away.

Christian Ratzlaff led HHS with 13 points while Wiebe finished with a career-high nine. Kluesner led all scorers with 25 points.

Both teams left the gym with 5-5 season records while Hills?boro improved to 2-0 in the Central Kansas League and Nickerson fell to 0-2.

?That was a hard-fought victory,, when it looked like things weren?t going our way early in the third quarter when we really didn?t play basketball,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?To regroup like, and keep fighting and make plays was tremendous. I was really proud of them for that.?

Lyons?Coming off their best offensive performance of the season against Pratt on Friday, the Trojans slid back into their cold-shooting ways Tues?day in a 47-34 loss at Lyons.

On a night of single-digit temps outdoors, HHS?managed only nine points in the first half on chilly 3-for-20 shooting (15 percent). The Trojans stayed in contention with a defensive effort that limited the home team to 17 points.

Hillsboro seemed to have flipped the heater switch in the early minutes of the third quarter.

A full-court trapping defense forced Lyons into a missed shot and three consecutive turnovers, which the Trojans exchanged for a 3-pointer by Jarod Hamm, a free throw by Ben Bebermeyer and a 3-pointer by Brett Wein?brenner.

The surge pulled HHS to within 19-16 with 5:57 left in the quarter.

But Hillsboro didn?t score again until Luke Moore banked in a shot from 8 feet out with 50 seconds left in the period.

By then the Lions? 6-foot-4 Ryan McClure had fueled a 10-2 Lyons run with six points that put his team ahead, 29-18, at the final break.

Hillsboro enjoyed another brief surge at the start of the fourth quarter when Beber?meyer scored twice and Tyrell Thiessen once to close the lead to 31-24 with 6:27 to go.

With plenty of time left, the Trojans opted to unleash the long-range artillery. Their next five shots came from behind the arc?and all five missed the mark.

In the meantime, Lyons pushed the lead back to 10 points with just under five minutes to go.

Hills?boro didn?t make another field goal until Thiessen scored with 1:17 left. The game was beyond reach at that point, 47-32.

For the game, Hillsboro finished with 25 percent shooting (10-for-40) from the floor while Lyons enjoyed 44 percent (17-39).

?We?ve just got to hit some shots,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?A lot of the shots we took were open looks. We got some offensive boards, but we just didn?t put the ball in the basket.?

Bebermeyer was the only Trojan to break double digits, managing 10.

McClure led all scorers with 17 and Brenton Drake added 11 for Lyons (2-7).

Coming?Hillsboro was to open play Tuesday as the No. 4 seed against No. 5 Wamego (4-2) in the Trojan Classic boys? tournament. A same-night report of the game will be posted at hillsborofreepress.com.

If HHS won, the Trojans will play the winner of No. 1 Riley County (6-1) and No. 8 Winfield (1-6) at 8:15 p.m. Thursday. If Hillsboro lost, the Trojans would play the loser of Riley County and Winfield at 4:45 p.m. Thurs?day.

Check the Web site or the Free Line (947-3363) for Hills?boro?s results and game schedule.

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